What Is Your Definition of ‘Love’?


I know that you are wondering why I am asking such a simple question… easy-peasy.

You are grown up, educated, intelligent, smart, and understood the people in general and the family relationships in particular… I am sure that you are in a position to answer the above question without hesitation.

We all know that love is a basic necessity.

Of course, I know that you know the difference between love & lust.

Here we are discussing the ‘love’ as grown up and mature adults.

Love expresses both the physical and emotional aspects of the individual.

The very word ‘Love’ evokes strong and sometimes mixed feelings.

Love is simple and we love to complicate it!

One always struggles to understand ‘Love’!

The basis of my discussion is… though ‘Love’ is a simple 4 letter single & lovely word… why it is experienced and expressed differently by the same person on different occasions and by different people on different occasions?

Julie Andrews, an English actress, singer and author said:

“All love shifts and changes. I don’t know if you can be wholeheartedly in love all the time.”   

What is the experience of the sages on ‘Love’?

These sages are famous for their wisdom, judgment and experience.

Love & Happiness

All of us agree that love brings happiness.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Paolo Coelho, a Brazilian lyricist and novelist said:

“After all, what is happiness? Love, they tell me. But love doesn’t bring and never has brought happiness. On the the contrary, it’s a constant state of anxiety, a battlefield; it’s sleepless nights, asking ourselves all the time of we’re doing the right thing. Real love is composed of ecstasy and agony.” 

Love & Hatred

Richard Russel Riordan Jr is an American author known for writing the ‘Percy Jackson & the Olympian series’ said:

“No one can hate you more than someone who used to love you.”

Is ‘love’ responsible for the hatred or is hatred responsible for the ‘love’?

Because of your intense love, do you learn ‘hatred’ from your disappointments?

Or, since you underwent the impact of hatred… you seem to know the value of ‘love’?

Martin Luther King Jr, leader of the Civil Rights Movement, beautifully expressed Love vs Hatred:

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”

Love & Age

Why is the intensity of love in terms of ‘definition’ not the same throughout the life span of a person?

John Anthony Ciardi was an American poet, translator, editor, writer, and etymologist and he said:

“Love is a word used to label the sexual excitement of the young, the habituation of the middle-aged and the mutual dependence of the old.”

Love & Soul

Aristotle, ancient great Greek philosopher, and scientist said:

“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”

Do you believe this ‘unbelievable’ saying?

How can a single soul have two bodies? A kind of snake with two heads?

Let us not take it in a literal sense; let us think in practical terms. Can love between two souls be a single soul in reality? What is it that Aristotle was trying to say about the lovers?

I know that no two persons can understand each other totally, leave alone their thought process on various matters of importance.

Love & Philosophy  

Jean Pierre Claris De Florian, a French romance writer, and poet had a different meaning for love sounding more philosophical:

“Pleasure of love lasts but a moment, Pain of love lasts a lifetime.” 

Love, Romance & Lie

Oscar Wilde the famous Irish poet & playwright and dramatist felt the meaning of love in a different context:

“When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That’s what the world calls a romance.”

Love & Stupidity

Paul Valery, a French poet, essayist, and philosopher was a bit harsh. He said:

“Love is being stupid together.”

Does love mean ‘Tolerance or Cruelty’?

Suman Pokhrel, is a Nepali poet, writer, and translator and his thoughts are on unexpected lines:

“Love is the cruelest event.”

Love & Joy

Nikola Tesla, an ethnic Serb was a genius polymath, topmost inventor and a mechanical and electrical engineer said:

“Love: I recognize the emotion, for what it is… an irrational self-destructive impulse, which is disguised as joy.”

Love & Cost

Henry Youngman, an English-American comedian and musician famous for his mastery of one-liner said this about ‘love’:

“You can’t buy love, but you can pay heavily for it.”

Love & Mental balance

Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher & writer said:

“Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the senses.”

What are my thoughts?

Love is much more than physical satisfaction or sweet wordings.

“True love means that you care more about someone else’s happiness than your own. No matter how much pain it may bring to you.” —Unknown

Any take-home message?

“Love is a weapon of mass destruction or reconstruction.” — Unknown

It’s up to you to define adult love.

I know that you have your definition of ‘Love’ and it’s my humble duty to inform you that your definition may not resonate with other friendly people’s definition of love.

Please share your views and thoughts.

Thank you. Namaste 🙏🙏🙏

Image Source-Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

About the guest author:

Dr. Sridhar is the man behind Philosophy Through Photography.

This deep thinker from India wears many hats; he is a physician, a blogger, a philosopher and an amateur photographer.

Published by philosophy through photography

My philosophy is: Life is hard, but God is good. Try not to confuse the two. Anne F. Beiler

34 thoughts on “What Is Your Definition of ‘Love’?

  1. I have enjoyed your selection of quotes, fear Dr Sridhar. Allow me to add one more: “True love consists of trust and admiration for another person” (Rabbi Noah Weinberg, Head of a Rabbinical College, author and lecturer).
    We believe that Aristotle, who had studied the writings of Jewish sages, is correct. When babies are born, the matches are already made, and a person becomes complete only when he meets and connects with his true half, i.e. the half of his soul. The problem usually lies in finding that half.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you Dolly.
      Grateful for adding the most important quote on ‘True Love’ by Rabbi Noah Weinberg.
      Hopefully humans strive by loving and trusting each other.
      Thanks for deciphering what Aristotle actually meant.
      I know lesser mortals like me find it very difficult to go a bit deeper.
      Present days couples are finding extremely difficult to understand each other!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have always hesitated talking about love because the more deeper I got, the more mysterious is got. One thing I’m sure off is that love is no feelings or emotion, it’s a different identity, a being I would say and definitely don’t confuse love with attraction, love is more like a sacred jewel that only some can possess and even less can wear.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Wow wow ,what a beautiful meaning you have given “love is more like a sacred jewel that only some can possess and even less can wear”………
      Couldn’t agree more.
      Love is a different identity as you rightly said,not all are capable of understanding.
      Thank you so much Jabir

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, thanks for sharing, i have learned so many definitions of love in a single day, but as for me,
    I define Love in form of giving: Give without expecting anything in return, for the one you Love keep giving.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Excellent post Dr. Sridhar!!
    Without going on & on as I do…I will say Paul Valery hit the nail on the head for me!
    My dear Paul (the C3-C4 Quadriplegic) hubby & I definitely fit his description as stark as it sounds!! We did ALOT of fun things & ALOT of stupid things together & that was alot of the ‘glue’ that held us together. We understood each other. And we could forgive each other for being stupid when needed.

    Case in point: Paul was an addict on top of his paralyzed state. He always ended up hanging out with people who were fellow users. I would just let him get on with whatever he was doing & continue on. He always came home (worse for wear) & we continued on together. However in 1992 Paul decided to take a trip out West with his ‘buddies’. He had a Van & a driver & his friends & off they went.
    I know,,,,,a Quad who was totally dependent on others for his care….but he was a stubborn man….I let him go & continued on & I kept in touch….he was supposed to be out West for a month…..
    3 months later not a word from him. And this was b4 mobile phones…I called my Mom-In-Law & me Sister & Brother In Laws & NO ONE knew where Paul was,,,,,
    I had to go to the Police & submit a Missing Person report…it was very embarrassing…can you imagine the Police asking me “How did you manage to lose your husband?? Especially since he is paralyzed?”
    Yeah there was IRONY! And yes I was so angry with him!!
    A BOLO went out Canada wide for Paul.
    And 5 days later the Police received a call from A Vancouver, British Columbia Hospital saying they thought they had Paul in theirEMERG . Thankfully Paul had very unique tattoos’ & 1 of them was my name tattooed on inside of left forearm. Once the Staff checked his tattoos’ they were sure it was him. He’d bee abandoned @ the Hospital under a different name by his ‘so-called’ friends & he’d been very ill…..in fact, unable to remember who he was for a long time.

    I had to pay for an Attendant to bring Paul back to Ontario on a plane (I am afraid to fly!) When he finally arrived home I was not sure whether I should ((hug)) Paul or **HIT** him!!! I (((hugged))) him for a VERY long time; crying like a baby. And he cried too.
    He ended up back in Rehab Centre once again because he needed 24/7 care.
    I forgave Paul in about 3 minutes into his return to me.
    That is ❤ LOVE<3 in my world. Forgiving a loved one of something they did so incredibly stupid (& life threatening!)
    Thankfully he got better & we had a few more years together….I tell you tho' I would never be able to be in such a complex relationship ever again…
    Love can be far too complicated!!
    Loving my cat is much much easier! 😉
    Sincerely, Sherri-Ellen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Sherri-Ellen,for the lovely narration of the past and also sharing your thoughts on ‘Love’

      The greatness lies in you because of your attitude of forgiving and that you forgave Paul defines the very purpose and meaning of LOVE.

      I must add. you are the example of real meaning of love. Forgiveness takes less than 3 minutes! How true it is!

      At the same time you are also the witness to the fact Love can be complicated.

      Had many sweet smiles about loving cats! True it’s much easier to love these voiceless souls .

      Thanks again for detailed explanation of what actually love means.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are most welcome Dr. Sridhar. I speak only from my own experience. I am sure there is alot more to Love & Forgiveness. Paul & I had a very unique situation & marriage. What worked for us probably would not work for others.
        I KNOW I have never loved someone like that again. Because that love was far too complicated…
        And trust me all my cats are anything but voiceless….mine always ‘talk’ to me. LOL 🙂
        Wishing you well, Sherri-Ellen

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you Dr. Sridhar…you know there are times I think I communicate BETTER with my CATS than people where I live! Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy good conversation with people; where I live is mostly everyday chat & far too much gossip. There are only 2 people where I live who I can have good discussion with & my 3 friends in town…
            And finding you thru’ Renard’s blog has been a ray of sunshine!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Thanks again.regardingu talking to cats I meant on a lighter note.
              I can understand that you enjoy talking to people who are sincere in talking because now a days talking and respectful discussion has become rare.
              True what you said about Renards blog,where I could meet wonderful people like you

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Bless you Dr. Sridhar what a lovely compliment. You made my day! Actually my year! Where I live there is a assortment of people; most do not have good education. AS I was a University level student I find it difficult to talk with people where I live. There are 3 people out of approximately 60 people with a similar education level. Please don’t get me wrong. I respect all people. I do not have much in common with most of the ones who live in my building. So finding you & reconnecting with Renard are wonderful.
                I knew what you meant about the cats. I am known as the CAT, BIRD & CHIPMUNK Whisperer here. It makes me giggle. All people have to do is listen to the animals. Mind you, if you do not listen well to Humans I guess listening to 4 leggeds & birds is difficult… 😉
                Wishing you a lovely evening…night…..new day,,,,
                Sherri-Ellen & **purrss** BellaDharma


  5. I don’t have a cool quote or anything… but…

    I am careful with love… “now”… very careful!! Maybe too careful? I didn’t really know what it was supposed to be when I was so young- I thought everyone was good once.

    So now my definition is a little different… or at least my want … or desire?

    There is both TO love – and TO BE loved …

    To love … when you look at the one you are with and think how lucky you are to have them in your life and how much joy they bring to you, your heart overflows. You enjoy time with them, they make you smile and you feel at ease because you have someone to turn to. You can trust them.

    And then to be loved … when they look at you and you can see that just by the look. When they respect you and are interested in your words and thoughts and stories – they care about you and that you are ok… they want to make you smile and make your life better – when they cherish you

    Respect on both ends – when life is better with them than with out. ❤️✌️

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: